Growth hormone (GH) secretion during insulin-induced hypoglycemia was assessed on 133 occasions in 82 survivors of childhood malignant disease. All had received cranial irradiation with a dose range to the hypothalamic-pituitary axis of 27 to 47.5 Gy (estimated by a schedule of 16 fractions over 3 weeks) and had been tested on one or more occasions between 0.2 and 18.9 years after treatment. Results of one third of the GH tests were defined as normal (GH peak response, greater than 15 mU/L) within the first 5 years, in comparison with 16% after 5 years. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis showed that dose (p = 0.007) and time from irradiation (p = 0.03), but not age at therapy, had a significant influence on peak GH responses. The late incidence of GH deficiency was similar over the whole dose range (4 of 26 GH test results normal for less than 30 Gy and 4 of 25 normal for greater than or equal to 30 Gy after 5 years), but the speed of onset over the first years was dependent on dose. We conclude that the requirement for GH replacement therapy and the timing of its introduction will be influenced by the dose of irradiation received by the hypothalamic-pituitary axis.